Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Agriculture Feature: CARDI is an Implementing Partner for multi-million dollar Regional project

by Yolande Agard

l-r Mr. Gregg Rawlins, IICA; Ambassador LaRocque; Guyana’s President Ramotar; Guyana’s Agriculture Minister Ramsammy and EU Delegation Ambassador Kopecky.
March 19, 2013:- On Friday 15th March, 2013, the Region witnessed the signing of a Euro 8.6 million European Union/Intra-ACP Project, titled ‘Intra ACP Agriculture Policy Programme’. The Signing Ceremony was held at the office of the EU Commission, Georgetown, Guyana.

CARDI is one of three Implementing Partners. The other two are the CARICOM Secretariat and IICA with the latter doubling up as the Project Executing Agency. 

CARDI has direct responsibility for Component Two, "Improving the transfer and adoption of applied agricultural production and processing research results and technologies, and where appropriate, generate new technologies for target commodities". 

As part of this four-year long Project, the Institute will undertake the activities of strengthening capacities, developing, multiplying and distributing quality plant and animal genetic material and improving, disseminating and facilitating the adoption of agricultural production strategies to mitigate the impact of risk and climate change. 

The overarching objective of this project is "to enhance capabilities of the agricultural sectors in CARIFORUM states to contribute to poverty reduction and food and nutrition security". 

The specific objective however is "to increase the capability of regional agricultural development organizations of the Caribbean Region, including agribusiness organizations/associations to address the development needs of small and medium producers/entrepreneurs, by, inter alia, improving their linkages to markets". 

Arlington Chesney, CARDI’s Executive Director, note that this European Union sponsored four year Programme comprises a sequential flow of components which include Regional Agricultural policy, the transfer of production technology and the development of enterprises through improved markets. It also builds on the successes of the three (roots and tubers, vegetables/protected agriculture and small ruminants) Common Fund for Commodities/European Union funded projects being implemented by CARDI. 

He further outlined that the sequence is not only instructive but is the ideal framework within which stakeholders, critical to the development of the sector, are identified and must functionally collaborate in order to successfully achieve the targeted objectives of the overall Programme. 

For example, the first Component addresses policy formulation and networking amongst decision makers/policy formulators. The second Component addresses primary and secondary food production with particular reference to gender, youth and climate change resilient crops and crop production systems; all themes of increasing global and regional significance in the context of food and nutrition security. 

The third Component involves processes by which products and services are delivered to consumers within commercially viable enterprises. 
In this context, CARDI with offices and/or partnerships spread across the Programme’s fifteen beneficiary countries is well positioned to be a willing as well as key player and collaborator in this EU initiative. 

These beneficiary countries are Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad& Tobago. 

The primary beneficiaries under Component 2, of which CARDI is the Implementing Partner, are Small and Medium Scale Agri-entrepreneurs, particularly Small Farmers. Overall, CARIFORUM States are to be the major beneficiaries of the Programme. 

Attending the Signing were Secretary General, CARICOM/CARIFORUM - Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; Head, European Union Delegation to Guyana - Ambassador Robert Kopecky; President of Guyana - Mr. Donald Ramotar; Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Guyana - Dr. Leslie Ramsammy; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Guyana – Mr. George Jervis; Food and Agriculture Representative, Guyana - Dr. Lystra Fletcher-Paul; Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Representative, Guyana - Mr. Wilmot Garnett; Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Representative, Trinidad and Tobago - Mr. Gregg Rawlins; and Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Head Resource Mobilization, Monitoring &Evaluation Unit - Mr. Maurice Wilson. 

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai